Also known as Moringa oleifera, the miracle tree is a tree valued for its nutritious leaves and purported medicinal properties. Native to Northwestern India, nearly every part of the plant has long been used in herbal medicine to treat more than 300 conditions.
Of the plant’s many studied and promising health benefits, several may be specific to men.
Here are 4 benefits of moringa for men, as well as information on its safety and side effects.
1. It promotes prostate health
Moringa seeds and leaves are rich in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which may have anticancer properties.
Studies have demonstrated that the glucosinolates from the plant’s seeds may inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells.
It’s also speculated that moringa could help prevent benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). This is a
a condition that typically becomes more common as men grow older and is characterized by enlargement of the prostate, which can make urination difficult.
The study also demonstrated that the plant decreased testosterone levels. In humans, low testosterone levels can reduce sex drive and erectile function, lead to a loss of muscle mass, and even cause depression. This testosterone-lowering effect could also interfere with the effectiveness of testosterone-replacement therapy in men with low testosterone.
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2. Alleviate erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection that’s firm enough for sex. The condition often occurs when there’s a problem with blood flow, which may result from high blood pressure, high levels of fat in the blood, or certain conditions like diabetes.
Moringa leaves contain beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols that enhance blood flow
by increasing nitric oxide production and decreasing blood pressure. Studies have shown that extract from the plant’s leaves and seeds inhibits key enzymes linked to ED that increase blood pressure and decrease nitric oxide production.
One study also demonstrated that a moringa seed extract relaxed the smooth muscle in the penis of healthy rats, allowing for more blood flow to the area. The extract also alleviated ED in rats with diabetes.
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3. May improve fertility
Men are estimated to cause infertility problems in about 40% of cases, with reduced sperm production and problems with sperm motility being among the most common causes.
Moringa leaves and seeds are excellent sources of antioxidants, which may help combat oxidative damage that can interfere with sperm production or damage sperm DNA.
Studies have shown that leaf powder from the plant significantly improved semen volume, as well as sperm count and motility. Studies have further demonstrated that the antioxidant properties of moringa leaf extract significantly increased sperm count in cases of induced undescended testicles.
This leaf extract may prevent the loss of sperm caused by excessive heat, chemotherapy, or electromagnetic rays emitted from cell phones.
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4. May improve blood sugar control
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t efficiently use it. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that lowers blood sugar levels after eating.
The condition is more prevalent in men than in women. This may be because men tend to store more harmful fat around their abdominal region — known as visceral fat — which decreases the effectiveness of insulin, thus increasing diabetes risk.
Several diabetes studies have shown that extracts from moringa leaves and seeds may lower blood sugar levels by either increasing insulin production or the uptake of sugar into cells.
One study in 10 healthy adults demonstrated that taking 4 grams of moringa leaf powder increased insulin secretion but did not significantly affect blood sugar levels. Researchers found that the supplement reduced the post-meal blood sugar increase in those with diabetes but not in those without the condition.
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